General Info

Allegion Support

I receive lots of questions daily.  Usually they are code questions, but I also receive questions about our products.  To help you find answers to some of the product questions more quickly, I  have added links to some Allegion support resources in the right sidebar.  -->

By |2017-05-31T09:29:59-04:00October 6th, 2014|General Info|6 Comments

Hardware Finishes

When I worked for a hardware distributor back in the 80's, I had a secret hiding place where I kept my prized possessions...including a small cardboard "book" that contained samples of each of the common finishes used for hardware. I had to keep it hidden, because people were always trying to steal it, or rip out the little metal pieces to send as finish samples...

By |2016-01-13T11:10:14-05:00September 30th, 2014|General Info|44 Comments

PSA – 9-volt Batteries

This is not door-related, but consider it a public service announcement that shows how much I care about you.  I don't know how common this is, but I did confirm that a 9-volt battery can be used to start a fire and improper storage has led to several residential fires.  If we proactively replace our smoke detector batteries and store the partially-used batteries until they are recycled, we need to take precautions to avoid the situation in the video below.

By |2014-02-03T14:10:31-05:00February 3rd, 2014|General Info, Videos|2 Comments

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Bentonville, Arkansas

Almost exactly 7 years ago I began working on one of my most beautiful and challenging projects - the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I remember the start date because I had just returned from leave after having my youngest daughter.  The architect contacted me many months prior and asked me to act as the hardware consultant on the project, and to be honest, I didn't want to do it.  I already had several "high-maintenance" projects on my desk, and with most of those fancy, prestigious projects, you also get frustrations and headaches.  You get architects with door-related ideas that have never been attempted...gigantic doors, openings that are invisible (codes be damned), doors made out of unusual materials, sliders that slide with the touch of a finger and no sound, and security applications that require variances from the local AHJ.  It was during one of those projects that I first stated, "Sorry, I left my magic wand in the car."  On another I earned the nickname "the anti-fairy godmother" because I told an architect that the doors in his interior elevation would not look the way he had drawn them because of code-drive hardware requirements.

By |2024-02-13T12:31:23-05:00January 28th, 2014|Beautiful Doors, General Info, Videos|4 Comments


It's hard to believe, but this week was my 19th anniversary with Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.  I started out with the independent manufacturers' rep, MPS Sales, representing several of the IR product lines, and in 2001 we all joined the company as direct employees.

By |2013-10-29T13:31:36-04:00October 3rd, 2013|General Info|10 Comments

CONSTRUCT: Help me decide!

On September 24th I'll be heading down to Nashville for the CONSTRUCT show, and I need some help with a decision!  We had planned to offer 2 different classes Wednesday and Thursday of that week, but the schedule was printed with the same topic (codes!) for both sessions.  So help me decide...would you prefer 2 code classes as the schedule shows, or should we stick with 1 on codes, 1 on access control and advertise the schedule change on-site?

By |2013-09-12T01:57:13-04:00September 12th, 2013|General Info|5 Comments

On the Road Again

On Monday I'm headed to ISC-West in Las Vegas for a few days...will I see any of you there?  And in a few weeks I'm making my first-ever trip to Missouri AND Kansas!  If you're in the area, I'll be playing Code Jeopardy with the MO KAN Chapter of DHI on April 25th in Kansas City, and debuting my new game-show presentation - Decoded: 1 vs. 100, on April 26th in Overland Park, Kansas.

By |2013-05-01T19:21:31-04:00April 4th, 2013|General Info|7 Comments

IDH-IHH is 4 years old!

I can hardly believe that it has been 4 years since I wrote the very first post on this site.  What's most amazing to me is that even though I have posted at least 3 times per week, for a total of 759 published posts to date, I still have a long list of topics to write about.  We've always known that hardware is complicated, but who knew I could write about it 759 times and still have something to say?

By |2016-01-27T13:18:38-05:00February 25th, 2013|General Info|11 Comments

Are you a CDT yet?

I have quite a few letters after my name.  They won't all fit on my business card, and my email signature looks silly if I include all of them.  There are some that I can use just for joining an organization and paying my annual membership fee, which seems too easy.  But I proudly display the designations for the certifications I've achieved, because they all represent many years of experience, hours of studying, and rigorous tests.  When someone sees my business card or email signature for the first time, they often key in on the designations they're familiar with.  Those certifications immediately communicate that I have some level of knowledge about the topic - that I made the investment to achieve the certification.  Obviously the letters don't say everything about who I am, but they help with the first impression and then it's up to me.

By |2013-03-11T19:06:23-04:00February 21st, 2013|General Info|4 Comments

Recent Announcement from Ingersoll Rand

A few weeks ago, Ingersoll Rand announced plans to spin off the combined commercial and residential security businesses into a new standalone publicly held company.  I immediately started getting calls and emails from blog readers asking what this meant to me and to our other employees, the brands, and this website.  One hardware distributor said, “I can’t imagine the hardware business without Schlage, LCN, and Von Duprin in it!”  I was very touched by the concern for our people and products.

By |2013-01-04T07:02:50-05:00January 4th, 2013|General Info|4 Comments

Have you checked your smoke detectors?

Last year I published a post about the two common types of smoke detectors - ionization and photo-electric detectors.  There was a report on NBC News tonight about this same topic.  In case you missed the first post or didn't get around to checking the detectors in your home, here's a follow-up:

By |2012-10-04T01:11:54-04:00October 4th, 2012|General Info|2 Comments

Hate Hardware, Love Cookies?!?

I'm in sunny Phoenix this morning, getting ready to head over to the convention center for the CONSTRUCT show.  I know that some of you are here too!  Last week at our local CSI meeting, 5 different people came up to me and said, "I HATE HARDWARE!", usually with a theatrical grimace, a stomp of the foot, or a shaken fist (or all of the above) and a little smile.  I'm happy to represent the industry that architectural specifiers love to hate because there are plenty of us who are here to help you.

By |2012-09-12T14:08:46-04:00September 12th, 2012|General Info|4 Comments

Where’s Waldo?

I'm going to be traveling a fair amount over the next couple of months, and if you'll be where I am I'd love to see you!  This afternoon I am headed to our office in Carmel, Indiana, to continue training our newest batch of specwriter apprentices.  The door and hardware industry seems to always have trouble attracting new people, and specwriters are usually created over a long career filling other roles in the industry.  Well, Bill Lawliss and I have risen to the challenge and are working with some recent college graduates to teach them everything we know about doors and hardware.  They've already learned a lot and this week we will continue with some more training on hardware applications.  If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating in this training program in the future, let me know!

By |2016-06-01T13:47:17-04:00August 20th, 2012|General Info|11 Comments

Coming Soon! Image Search

I am frequently asked if I have a photo of a particular application.  There are almost 2,500 images on this site, so it's likely that I do have the photo someone is looking for, but finding it is not easy.  As the number of images grows, it will get worse.

By |2012-08-06T09:36:01-04:00August 3rd, 2012|General Info|25 Comments

Join the Conversation

In the last month there have been almost 8,000 visits to iDigHardware...about a 30% increase over the same period last year.  That's so exciting!!  I was helping out with a class today (Preparing for a Fire Door Inspection taught by Jeff Tock of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies), and several people mentioned that they were frequent visitors to the site.  One told me that I "got him hooked on Doors & Hardware magazine" (when was the last time you heard that?).  During the class I received an email that cracked me up, which read in part:

By |2014-10-08T09:02:12-04:00April 12th, 2012|General Info|1 Comment

Especially for Architects and Specifiers

Is it my imagination or do most architects wait until the last possible moment to ask for help with their hardware specifications?  Why is that??  My theory is that most of them hate hardware so much that they can't bear to look at it or think about it until it's almost too late.  I feel the same way about my taxes.  Nope, I haven't done them yet.  I wonder if H&R Block will take good care of me when I call on April 14th.

By |2014-04-29T12:11:31-04:00April 2nd, 2012|General Info|10 Comments

Reducing Risk of Violence in Schools

With 3 young kids in school and spending a fair amount of time in school buildings, school shootings hit very close to home for me.  The most recent shootings in Chardon, Ohio resulting in the death of 3 students are just so senseless and tragic.  The raw pain of the victims' parents is excruciating to watch.

By |2014-11-25T23:27:31-05:00March 1st, 2012|General Info|1 Comment

It’s Official!

It’s official – I have a new job (woohoo!).  For the last 3 years while I’ve been getting to know all of you and putting as much code/application information on this site as possible, I have also been managing our specification team for New England.  At times it has been a struggle to do both, hence the late-night blog posts.

By |2012-01-27T21:55:18-05:00January 26th, 2012|General Info|51 Comments

Help Wanted

I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions that were left in response to my post called WWYD?  Cross-Corridor Pair.  I love the collaboration and I know we can all benefit from the experience of others as well as the different points of view.

By |2012-01-27T21:57:03-05:00December 1st, 2011|General Info|14 Comments

The Great Boston Fire of 1872

It's almost impossible to imagine a fire of this magnitude, which began on November 9th, 1872.  More than 770 buildings burned in less than 20 hours, most of them commercial buildings that were previously thought to be fire-proof.  Several problems contributed to fighting the fire - the flu that had stricken most of the horses used to pull the fire engines, the attempts to reduce the fire load by exploding kegs of gunpowder inside of buildings, an inadequate water supply, and the crowds of spectators and looters filling the streets.

By |2016-04-05T20:32:28-04:00November 9th, 2011|General Info, Historical|1 Comment

Goin’ Mo-Bile!

Have you ever had a few minutes to spare between meetings or while waiting for someone, and you wondered what was going on over at iDigHardware?  Well, now you can find out!  If you log into the site from your iPhone, Android, or iPad, you will be automatically directed to the new mobile version of iDigHardware.  You can check out recent posts, access some of the more popular areas of the site, or search for the post that will make you a hero when you whip out the information someone is desperately looking for.

By |2012-01-27T21:57:05-05:00September 26th, 2011|General Info|8 Comments

Big 5

Last month I told you that I would be drawing 5 names from my list of connections and subscribers in honor of my 500th post, to win their choice of prizes (an LCN 4040XP closer, a Schlage CO lock, a Schlage residential keypad lock, or a $50 Amazon gift card).  Yesterday was my daughter Norah's 5th birthday, and she chose the 5 winners at random.

By |2023-03-15T13:17:00-04:00September 16th, 2011|General Info|9 Comments

New York, New York!

I just got final confirmation that Zeke Wolfskehl and I will be teaching a code class for architects at the 36th annual DHI Conference in New York City!  Prior to the adoption of the 2008 NYC Construction Code, the NYC Building Code was almost as old as me(!), so we're thinking it's a good time to make sure everyone is up to date on the current requirements related to doors and hardware.  We'll talk about the 2003 edition of the International Building Code and what has changed in the more recent editions, as well as variations in the Life Safety Code and the New York City and New York State codes.

By |2014-10-08T09:05:12-04:00August 11th, 2011|General Info|2 Comments

Happy 500!

I've been thinking about this post for 2 weeks, and I'm stumped. It's my 500th post on this blog. It seems like 500 posts should warrant some sort of fanfare...maybe a cake?! (in our office we use any excuse to have cake). I've been trying to think of a tie-in to 500 somethings, a related photo I could include, but the pressure has clouded my brain.

By |2012-01-27T21:57:29-05:00August 8th, 2011|General Info|9 Comments

Social Media Roundup

Over the last year, I've really started to understand the valuable communication tool that social media has become.  Every time I write a blog post, a notification of the post is immediately seen by at least 1500 people.  If any of those connections comments, tweets, or "likes" the post, it is then shared with their network of connections.  One of my recent tweets was retweeted to over 4,000 people - not a big deal in comparison to celebrity twitterers, but we're talking about doors here!

By |2016-10-23T20:17:19-04:00July 21st, 2011|General Info|4 Comments

Relay for Life

Update:  Relay for Life is tomorrow, so if you would like to make a donation, today's the day!  Luminarias in honor, memory, or support of a loved one are available for $10 by following the link below.  I'm a little over $100 away from my goal.  I appreciate your help!

By |2013-02-13T18:52:04-05:00June 10th, 2011|General Info|3 Comments

Construction Specifier Article

I was pleasantly surprised to open my June issue of the Construction Specifier this morning, and find an article called "Architectural Hardware Specifications," by Joseph D. Calvert, CSI, CDT, AHC of Calvert Independent Hardware Specifications.  The article does a great job of explaining the value of an AHC.  Joe describes the coordination that we manage between various trades, the complex hardware sets and riser diagrams that we produce for openings with electrified hardware, and the detailed analysis that we perform when creating the hardware sets and reviewing the submittal - including the required function, durability, codes, and aesthetic requirements.

By |2012-01-27T21:58:09-05:00June 6th, 2011|General Info|7 Comments
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